Dazzling Coronado knocks out Magpies

Dazzling Coronado knocks out Magpies

Rabat Ajax 0
Floriana 4
Coronado 10, 53 82; Bogdanovic 64;

Igor Coronado was back to his prolific best yesterday, scoring a hat-trick to steer Floriana to a 4-0 win over Rabat Ajax at the National Stadium.

The victory allowed the Greens to chip away all the six points they were deducted by the MFA Licensing Board before the start of the season, taking them above yesterday’s opponents Rabat Ajax on one point.

This has been a turbulent season for Floriana but they certainly deserve credit for the way they have turned around their fortunes in the last two outings.

Last week, they produced a late show to grab the points from Vittoriosa but yesterday’s emphatic performance will have gone some way towards strengthening their confidence ahead of upcoming sterner tests.

Coronado played a leading role in his side’s win. The Brazilian winger tormented Rabat throughout, capping an electric showing with a brilliant hat-trick that sparked the Greens’ revival.

The return from suspension of Dylan Falzon enhanced the resources at the disposal of Rabat coach Steve D’Amato.

The Rabat skipper resumed his central defensive partnership with Ivan Carapic as Josef Tonna settled for a place on the bench.

The Greens mentor Ian Dawes changed his front-line with Coronado and Daniel Bodganovic replacing Pinheiro and Brooke Farrugia.

Floriana were fastest out of the blocks and in the tenth minute, the nippy Coronado profited from the Magpies’ lax marking to direct a header past Pavle Velimirovic from Bogdanovic’s corner.

Rabat’s troubles to cope with the slick movement of Coronado were evident on 16 minutes, with the nippy Brazilian smacking a long-range shot against the bar.

The Ajax had been subdued in attack in the initial stages but they threatened to draw level in their first dangerous raid on Floriana’s rearguard after 41 minutes.

Daniel Pelaez’s teasing cross from the left arced towards the centre of the box and into the path of Moises Avila Perez but the latter’s volley flew wide.

Having been the brighter side throughout, Floriana regained their focus immediately and Gary Roberts was prominent with an angled drive that was saved into corner by Velimirovic.

Coronado’s show continued after the break to put his side 2-0 after 53 minutes.

It was Bogdanovic’s pass to Roberts that initiated the goal. From Roberts the ball was transferred swiftly to Coronado, who belted the ball past Velimirovic.

Then, after 64 minutes, Bogdanovic lifted the crowd with a wonderful solo effort down the right channel.

Picking up the ball on the right flank just outside Floriana’s box, the Malta striker swooped through the Rabat midfield, powered into the box and then evaded the challenge of a defender before rounding the keeper to put the game beyond Rabat’s reach.

More misery befell Rabat on 82 minutes when Coronado stooped in to tap home Gary Muir’s cross and complete his hat-trick as the Brazilian left the pitch few moments later to a round of applause.

P. Velimirovic-5, I. Carapic-5, D. Carrillo Pendas-6, C. Gauci-5, J. Bajada-4, D. Falzon-4.5, D. Pelaez Bellido-4, S. Gauci-4, P. Borg-4.5 (67 A. Smeir-3), D. Azzopardi-4.5 (80 Z. Tanti), M. Availa Perez-5 (80 R. Micallef).

D. Hanford-6, A. Scicluna-6, I. Edet-6.5 (77 G. Favero), D. Bogdanovic-6.5 (68 B. Farrugia-5), G. Roberts-5, I. Coronado-8 (84 C. Caruana), S. Pisani-6, C. Borg-6, J. Borg-6, G, Muir-7, S. Borg-6.

Referee: Andrew Harms (Wales FA).

Yellow cards: Falzon, Bajada, Carapic, S. Gauci, Pelaez, R. Micallef.

BOV player of the match: Igor Coronado (Floriana).

Attendance: 603.


  P W D L F A Pts
Hibernians 4 4 0 0 13 5 12
Valletta 5 4 0 1 9 4 12
Sliema 5 3 2 0 11 4 11
Birkirkara 4 3 1 0 8 4 10
Naxxar Lions 5 2 1 2 6 6 7
Mosta 4 2 0 2 7 5 6
Balzan 4 1 1 2 5 5 4
Vittoriosa 5 1 1 3 6 11 4
Tarxien 5 1 1 3 8 14 4
Qormi 5 1 0 4 7 10 3
Floriana (-6) 5 2 1 2 8 7 1
Rabat Ajax 5 0 0 5 2 15 0
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